Impacts of Technology on Development of Children, Teens and Tweens with Reference to the Film Growing up with Gadgets

Technology controls the way people run their homes, how they work and interact. With the rise of use of technology for children and teenagers, there has been a lot of changes in the personal growth and development of these children.  The following essay looks at the impacts of technology on development of children, teens and tweens at home with reference to the film ‘Growing up with Gadgets’ (Kanode, 2011). In the end the essay shows that social media technology has both positive and negative impacts, however if controlled, social media technology can be a positive tool for children and teenagers.

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Impact of technology on the social development of children and tweens

According to the film ‘Growing up with Gadgets’ the influx of exposure of children to technology has both the positive and negative impacts.  In terms of the positive impacts, technology has been seen to assist well during the teaching and learning process. This is because children are able to use the internet and other media platforms to conduct academic research which engages and motivates these children in a more powerful way. Through the use of technology, children are also able to experience a more deeper and creative critical thinking on how the world around them operates (Hyun-Soo, 2017). This is very important as they may not experience this emotions in real world. However when they go down the virtual field trip, they are able to have a firsthand experience of things like paintings, data sets, the world, different governments, culture, races, religion and other social practices.

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In this way, they understand the world better and are able to know why each of them is different and unique and special in their own way. The same goes when they are growing up, the use of technology enables them to conduct academic research, analyze various data sets which provides them with a rich experience in different contexts. Or learning situations.  When it comes to the twins, experience of technology tends to be a bit different from the ordinary children.  This is especially true when it comes to decision-making process and their social connections. During the time the tweens are growing up, the social media impact will intensify different feelings. For example, they tend to get embarrassed when they lack friends or lack romantic attention. They feel ashamed with is triggered by the thoughts of their body consciousness or constant bullying (Hyun-Soo, 2017). The social media, unfortunately, is reported to magnify these feelings since they have nowhere to hide.

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There is also the negative impact of the social media experience for both children, teens, and tweens. According to the film, there is little interaction between children and their outer world. It is very rare nowadays to find families having a face to face conversation, or sitting together at a dining table for a meal or watching a family program. Some of the people discussed in the film also share that children nowadays are so engrossed to their social media platforms, or play online games, make virtual friends that it becomes hard to even find a child playing with their peers in the neighborhoods.  Children have become extreme introverts with little strength to express themselves in the real world (Davis & Schmidt, 2016). Parents also do not have a chance to bond with their children. In addition, the psychological development of the child is affected by what they read, share and watch in various media platforms. Some of them have ended up joining extremist groups, committing suicide and meeting dangerous strangers online (Blackhert, 2018).

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Social Media Impact and theories

According to the narrator in the film, it has become difficult to differentiate a growing child and adults, this is because the psychosocial development of the child is affected by what they watch, share and learn from various internet channels.   This is even supported by the General Learning Theory which proposes that experience children or individuals go through on social media platforms will eventually contribute or form their knowledge structure. This includes the characteristics of the individual when they are alone and when they are in a group. What they see or share in social media will reveal their expectations on how people should react towards them. Looking at the narration and responses in the film, the theory can be applied where it proposes that the knowledge and structures may also lead to another status which is evoked by past experiences. For example, when looking at the impact of social media on tweens, their constant feeling of rejection and not fitting in may lead to fear or anger or social isolation (Kanode, 2011).

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            This is because most young people tend to define their emotions in relation to the situation they are in at the moment and not for what those emotions actually mean. When these emotions are activated by people’s reaction to, for example, a social media post, and the resulting components include effective knowledge, behavioral changes, and person schemata. These will then interact with other personal factors, long-term goals and values, thus influencing their own appraisals and abilities (Hyun-Soo, 2017). 

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This theory can apply to the impact of social media technology to young people especially in their response to effective, aggressive or violent content.  In most cases, when children are not controlled in what they view or interact within the social media platforms, it is possible that they will experience new thoughts and feelings about the world and social views. They are activated and aroused to discover other personal emotions which are often controlled by what other people in the social media platform think. 

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Positive and negative development

The positive development of social media technology on children comes when it is used for educational, academic research or positive social development purposes. There are various applications which have been discovered according to Nick Lux, which allow students to run every application and tutor themselves academic progress.  In this manner the social media can be said to be positive, Also when children use the social media technology to interact with other peers form personal development, communicate with their parents and teachers, it becomes easy to cover a lot while at a stationery place (Blackhert, 2018).

There are however the negative results, nowadays children seem to connect more with the virtual beings, online chats, and social or video games more than they do with their real world.  In most cases, these children will interpret pain, bullying, shame, suffering or punished in the most hostile ways (Davis & Schmidt, 2016). They will get their virtual friends commenting about it and make decisions according to what these virtual friend’s opinions. In most case, the social media seem to make them lose their identities more than allowing them to discover what they are worth. 

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